Monday, July 25, 2011

GUATEMALA 2011: (1) Hat By the Door, Heart in My Throat!

My boots still have dust from the earth of the home we helped build last year. My jeans and bandana rest on the floor beside my hat and we have begun to assemble our checklist.Each morning brings me closer to stepping on that 747 at CVG with my wife and a small rag-tag group of passionate adventurers. I look forward to feeling the thrust of the plane and hearing the electrical wump-bang of the wheels locking into the fuselage.

We will make our mandatory pilgrimage through customs, and (as always) I will receive: a full body scan, an intimate pat and rub, questions of my intentions, and a search through my bags. You make think this is because of the earrings, but think again. This has always been the case for me. No big thing though, I know the drill, and it will go smoothly. It will all be worth it when we step through that barricade at customs and collapse into the embraces of the family who will fill the myriad roles of: hosts, guides, interpreters, drivers, task-masters, cheerleaders, pastors, and dearest life-long friends.

Each member of Team BA will carry 100 lbs. of needed donations for the children and people at Mimi's House and the village of Cerro Alto where we will build and hope to fully furnish two homes. After a full day of lugging them in and out of planes, trains, and automobiles... we will be happy to open them up and begin to see the everyday lives of people we love become measurably better with the small bits of necessity that otherwise simply would not be had.

There will be fresh socks and shoes to protect small feet as they run and play and work. There will be dresses for tiny little girls and matching shoes. The dresses will be beautiful, but they will pale in comparison of the beauty of the smiles they create. There will be necessities given for hygiene, and essential foods and nutrients provided for a healthy survival.

As much as we can bring... it will not measure up to the experience we gain when our eyes meet theirs and our souls touch through the barrier of culture and language. An understanding will again rise deep in our souls that will remind us firmly who we are, what we have received, and what we are to do.

This is my favorite photo from 2010. We built a home in El Campanero. Each day while we worked, she giggled at us while she watched from the house above. You can see her in the picture with her new stuffed giraffe. I have stared at this picture many times. The camera captured the spirit of the moment. Look at the wonder and delight in her face. This is why we go.

We began working on the house that would provide for the first time a private bedroom for a mother, and a separate bedroom for her children. They would have a common room that they could share life together in as a family, safe from the wind and rain. A quiet, private place that would allow them dignity and security. Holding that giraffe, she knew that she was loved, and she felt the wonder that every child should feel... the magic of imagination that a loved toy brings to your life.

Before and after shots of a dream realized. What was once an abandoned hillside, today holds the lives of a mother and her two children. A young girl with a giraffe to hold, and a near teenage boy who now has a safe place to study and learn what it means to be a responsible man.  A home for a mother to hold her children tight against the wind, the rain, and the harshness of a world that we all know can be desolate.

So much can be done for so many and for so small a cost. A family can have a fully furnished home for $3,000.00  For anyone who ever wonders if life matters, or if anything lasting can be done... I offer you this, and I tell you yes.

August 6th, Kellie and I will be flying back to this place that has forever captured our hearts and changed how we intend to live our lives. We have packed our donations and sent ahead the money that will make our trip possible. We are in need of nothing.

Take a moment to hit this link, and you will see where we are going. For the first time, the people in this village will receive outside help, and they are eager to share life with us. Here, take a look-- Cerro Alto Summer 2011.      

There is still time for you to make a lasting impact. Please call me at 513-292-1521 and I will take your money to make a difference in the lives of those who Jesus has called, "the least of these."

Come, and live out this great commission with me. I can send you specific pictures and videos of the lives that you can touch. Any amount can make a difference. $5 buys shoes, and $50 can make a difference in a home.

It would give me great joy to share the love and generosity of my family and friends from back home, to these people who have given and shown me so much in Guatemala.

If you are considering my words, please sponsor a girl at Mimi's House. These are beautiful children who are given real meaning and a shot at life. What you give to them will multiply and reach far beyond the measure of your own life. $30 a month will provide a wonderful home along with a top notch education. Check out the link below!

<< Click Here >>
Take the time to view the link and see the beauty that is Mimi's House. Kellie and I sponsor one of the girls, Julissa, and last year we were able to meet her. In a few short days... we will see her again!

Call me today with a donation, or a sponsorship. 100% of project money goes to the project.

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